Welcome back empowered readers,
For this week’s blog I wanted to take the opportunity to write about the stress associated with caregiving. It is a very important topic as Canada’s health care system is increasingly becoming more and more reliant on informal or voluntary caregivers (such as family members and friends) to support the needs of those with chronic illness, those with mental illness, and our ever growing senior population.
After recently reading some statistics associated with caregiving, I was shocked to read that, according to a survey in 2016, 8.1 million Canadians aged 15 or older provided care to a family member in the year preceding (Mental Health Commission of Canada, 2015). While varying demographics take on this role, voluntary caregivers are more often women (75%).
Do not get me wrong, speaking from experience from my career as a committed helping professional, a role of a caregiver can be a fulfilling experience. But there are, however, challenges associated with maintaining this role while balancing life. The unique challenge associated with caregivers is that they need to balance their role as a caregiver and their family’s needs, caregiver and paid employment, or caregiver and life in general. Many find themselves in situations where they lack the resources or skills to cope with various caregiving demands.
These demands can take a toll on a caregiver’s mental, physical and emotional health. Caregiver’s of individuals living with chronic and mental illness have been found to report negative physical and emotional effects due to the lack of recognition and support (The Gov’t of Canada). Caregivers have been shown to have increased levels of stress, depression and anxiety as well as lower levels of subjective well-being. These stressors can manifest into various illness, including burnout. Caregivers also reported being anxious and worried about their responsibilities, sacrifice time with their families or employment.
The challenge is that caregivers need to know when and where to seek help, how to take care of themselves, and what information, sources and resources are available. I can help, Empowered Wellness & Solutions was developed as a basis for providing support for other helping individuals. All it takes is reaching out, whether you have questions or interests, I can offer a free 20-minute consultation to see if my services will fit your needs.
To your empowered living,
Start a conversation with your body, listen to what it says